Botanising on a bike

On the Try Cycling in Edinburgh (TCIE) bike ride last weekend, we went out to Newhailes House. Nice day for cycling, and nice to catch up with Maggie, Darren and the other cyclists. But the main thing that stood out in my mind was spotting Himalayan Balsam all along the side of the path.

I was quite chuffed to be able to spot the balsam while cycling past, but sad to see the extent of the species. When balsam bashing at the Hermitage of Braid, it wasn’t in flower. Now the pale pink to white flowers are standing proud, and once I had my eye in it was quite easy to spot. (the plants are the tallest on the block.)

The balsam is along the NCN1 (just North of the railway line in the map below), with some along the Innocent Railway Path. One particular stretch is full of botanical bully boys: the balsam, fireweed, thistles, nettles, brambles, …


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